Autopsy samples waiting on pathologist
Stabroek News
February 8, 2004

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The police force is denying responsibility for delays in the shipment of stomach samples taken from the body of Mark Thomas.

Thomas died at the Georgetown Public Hospital a few weeks after being charged with the murder of Shafeek Bacchus, a murder that has unleashed allegations by his brother of the existence of a death squad. Thomas' death on Sunday was sudden, after he was seen briefly frothing at the mouth. An autopsy was performed on Wednesday and tissue samples were to be sent abroad for analysis.

According to a release from the Police Public Relations Department, the container with the samples remains at the Police Forensic Laboratory awaiting the instructions of Government Pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh.

Repeated efforts yesterday to contact Dr Singh proved unsuccessful.

The police denial was prompted by a television newscast that said the police had prevented the container with the samples from being flown to Miami.

"This statement is completely erroneous as nothing of this nature transpired. At no time did the container and its contents leave the Police Forensic Laboratory after being brought there from the autopsy, for storage," the release said.

The police added that the "force is cognisant of the subtle controversy that is being fuelled following the autopsy on the body of Mark 'Kerzorkee' Thomas," but that it was in no way involved in any sinister activities.

"The container and its contents are still at the Police Forensic Laboratory. The Guyana Police Force Administration has not received any instruction, on the way forward, from the Government Pathologist who performed the autopsy. This is despite diligent efforts," the statement said.

It went on to state that the administration of the police force had written to the government pathologist, but as yet had not received any communication in response.

Insinuations on the newscast, the release continued, were clearly intended to malign the GPF by giving the impression that its administration was acting suspiciously.

"We recall that at the news of Kerzorkee's death, persons with ulterior motives immediately began to peddle speculation, some of which attempted to convey the impression that the police may have had a role to play.

"The Guyana Police Force Administration wishes to reiterate that in the circumstances of such a death, it is not an abnormal procedure for the police to take possession of the body contents as directed by the Government Pathologist."